Phentermine, as it turns out, never went off the market. It has been low-key available on its own ever since fen-phen was pulled. And young women are taking it—even if they’re out here on Insta extolling the powers of Peloton.
Pharma knows that a safe and effective diet pill would be one of its biggest potential cash cows. Over the past 80 years, drug companies have done extensive research and have developed many products trying to capture the enormous market of unsuccessful weight watchers. None have worked well; all have had considerable risks. But hope and hype always spring eternal. If a pill solution to overweight were easy, we would already have it. There is no low hanging fruit, no easy answer.
One of the problems, to date, is that drugs that have been researched only show this modest benefit of 5% weight loss better than placebo. And the drug efficacy tends to plateau over time. Finally, weight is regained when the drugs are stopped. All of this leads to a lot of consumer and industry pressure to develop and approve new drugs. What often seems to be ignored is the contribution that the food industry makes to the problem through heavily advertised unhealthy offerings.
All these medications have side effects and Adderall, phentermine and similar stimulant medications, may become addictive in only a few weeks. Hallucinations, abnormal heart rhythms, and numbness in the extremities are also little known side effects.
People should be cautious about using two new weight-loss drugs because it’s not clear whether they increase the risk for heart problems, some doctors argue.
After I wrote last year that diet, not exercise, was the key to weight loss, I was troubled by how some readers took this to mean that exercise therefore had no value.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity.
The inauspicious history of diet drugs no doubt contributes to doctors’ reluctance to prescribe them. In the nineteen-forties, when doctors began prescribing amphetamines for weight loss, rates of addiction soared. Then, in the nineties, fen-phen, a popular combination of fenfluramine and phentermine, was pulled from the market when patients developed serious heart defects. Current medications are much safer, but they produce only modest weight loss, in the range of about five to ten per cent, and they do have side effects.
Just viewing a promotion for a quick-fix weight-loss drug was enough to make people eat worse, a new study found.
With obesity being viewed as more of a “disease” than as the result of how we treat our bodies, it’s tempting to reach for a pill to cure the problem. But, as with fad diets and quick weight-loss fixes, Qsymia and Belviq are not the answer we’ve been looking for. For lasting weight loss, taking a holistic approach and sticking with it is best.
Sadly, there isn’t yet a perfect pill to end obesity. However, there are a variety of prescription options to help you jump-start your weight loss, with a number of new drugs approved in just the past few years.
These new drugs are welcome additions, not just in the fight against obesity, but in helping diabetics and pre-diabetics where treatment is also focused on weight loss.
If the term "weight-loss drug" kind of scares the crap out of you, we hear ya. It’s smart to be wary of gimmicky pills that promise a six-pack by the weekend. But unlike the stash of weight-loss supplements at your local drugstore, weight-loss meds prescribed by doctors have undergone years of testing to snag a seal of approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
None of these drugs are a magic bullet. They all must be accompanied by following a healthful diet and exercising, and their effects on the scale are moderate compared with the dramatic weight loss seen in people who undergo gastric bypass surgery...
Weight-Loss Drugs Seek Acceptance From Patients and Physicians
A new generation of weight-loss medications that suppress patients’ appetites and make them feel full is facing reluctance among patients because of safety issues with past diet drugs.
Trade in illegal, ineffective drugs flourishes as pharmaceutical industry repeatedly fails to produce successful pill.
The weight-loss field is strewn with lemons, more so than other areas of medicine, Dr. Lauer argues.